Former ELT News editor Michael Chan wrote this comprehensive guide to teaching English in Japan. It covers just about any question you might have, from the kind of qualifications you need to the differences between the different kinds of schools.
This resource is aimed at those interested in pursuing a teaching career in Japan.
We welcome further additions and comments to this page. If there is information you cannot find in this guide - post your query on the Message Board or contact ELT News using our contact form
January 04, 2009
Fly to Japan and look for a job
You have to be very brave and well-connected to do this because it could cost a lot
financially. A probable scenario:
For the very brave (or rich)...
1). You'd have to find somewhere to live while you are job hunting. You'd most likely
end up in Tokyo (since this is where most of the jobs are) and living expenses are going
to be high. Let's imagine that you're lucky and a school hires you after a 2-week search.
2) Your new employer would then prepare the relevant paperwork to submit to immigration
for your work visa. Unfortunately, as mentioned earlier, you'd have to make the visa
application outside Japan. This would mean a trip to close neighbors Korea of Hong Kong.
Let's say that this takes a week.
3) You return to Japan. The application is made and all documents have been sent to the
Ministry of Justice. Now comes the wait for the vital stamp. This can take from 2 to 6 weeks.
In the meantime, you are idle and your cash reserves are running thin...
4) Your visa is granted and you start your teaching job at your new company. Great!
However, schools usually pay 2-4 weeks in arrears after the work month. You could be working
for 6 weeks before you'd get your first salary payment.
If you consider the four steps above, you are looking at a probable minimum of 11 weeks
from your time of arrival before you'd get your first paycheck. During this time could be
living on your own money (or a company loan). It is a big commitment. Teachers have managed
to get teaching jobs through this method, but without assistance, it's going to be tough!
ELT News is the website for teaching English in Japan and worldwide and for those looking for English teaching jobs. If you're involved in the English Language Teaching (ELT) Industry, then this site is your home. If you're looking for an English teaching job or another English-related job, check out our teaching jobs section.